In answer to a request to have Trump’s son in law be given security clearance in-spite nepotism laws
Rep. Elijah Cummings a Senior House Democrat demanded Donald Trump’s transition team explain what role Jared Kushner — the president-elect’s son-in-law — has been playing in their effort, including whether a request had been made for him join top secret classified briefings.
In a letter to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) specifically questioned whether Kushner will be participating in the daily defense, intelligence and national security updates. Cummings also noted that Trump’s son-in-law is legally barred from joining the new administration in an official capacity because of anti-nepotism laws.
Kushner wasn’t with Trump in his first national security briefing on Tuesday, but the Maryland Democrat insisted that the president-elect’s reported interests in such a move “demonstrate a breathtaking lapse in judgment and astonishingly cavalier attitude towards our nation’s most sensitive secrets.”
Trump on Wednesday morning took to Twitter to dispute news accounts from CBS News and others that he has been requesting security clearances “for my children,” calling it a “typically false news story.”
But the president-elect’s post didn’t address the role of Kushner, a real estate investor and close adviser to Trump who is believed to be in the running for a White House job or informal outside role.
Cummings, the ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has already taken issue with Trump’s ethics once before. On Monday, he wrote to the Republican chair of the House panel urging an investigation into the president-elect’s private financial arrangements.
With his latest missive, Cummings isn’t waiting for Trump to publicly ask for Kushner to get clearance. But he did urge Pence to explain exactly what role Kushner will play in the administration while noting Trump “is specifically prohibited from employing or appointing” Kushner to any federal positions under anti-nepotism laws.
Cummings also asked who Trump and his transition team have requested for security clearances, as well as who on the transition team doesn’t have such approval but who is under consideration for the briefings.